Rihanna Tops Billboard ‘Social 50’ Chart; @britneyspears Gifts Her Tweeps

Kanye West's 'My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy' CD Kanye West’s ‘My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy’ CD

Kanye Tops Billboard’s 200 Chart

Kanye West’s new album, “My Beautiful Twisted Fantasy,” sold 496,000 copies its first week of release to debut at Number One on this week’s Billboard 200.  The chart’s four additional Top 10 entries include “Pink Friday” by Nicki Minaj (Number 2), “My Worlds Acoustic” by Justin Bieber (Number 7), “Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys” by My Chemical Romance (Number 8) and “Libra Scale” by Ne-Yo (Number 9).

Rihanna Tops New Billboard ‘Social 50’ List

Rihanna's Rihanna’s “Music Of The Sun” CD

Billboard magazine has created a new weekly chart.  The “Social 50” list ranks the popularity of celebrities on social networking sites.  To rank the Top 50 artists, Billboard tracks the number of fans who view their pages and listen to their songs on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, MySpace and iLike.  Rihanna tops the inaugural “Social 50” chart.  Rounding out the top five are Justin Bieber, Eminem, Lady Gaga and Nicki Minaj.

Black Eyed Peas to Headline Superbowl XLV Halftime Show

The Black Eyed Peas "The End" CD The Black Eyed Peas “The End” CD

The National Football League has announced that the Black Eyed Peas will perform the halftime show at Super Bowl XLV.  The championship football game will be played at Cowboys Stadium on February 6, 2011.  More than 153 million viewers in the United States watched last year’s halftime show, which featured The Who.  The Black Eyed Peas are offering fans who buy a copy of their new album, The Beginning, a chance to be a special guest at the halftime show.

@britneyspears Gifts Her Tweeps

Britney Spears' 'Circus' CDBritney Spears’ ‘Circus’ CD

As Britney Spears celebrated her 29th birthday on December 2, she gave her fans a present via Twitter.  Spears (@britneyspears on Twitter) wrote, “My fans mean the world to me & waking up to all of your wishes really made me smile, so here’s something that I hope will make you smile… I’m almost done with my new album and it will be coming out this March.  I AM IN L-O-V-E WITH IT!”  Spears’ last album, Circus, was released in 2008.  According to Nielsen SoundScan, 1.7 million copies have been sold in the United States.  Its hits include the title track, “Womanizer” and “If U Seek Amy.”  Spears’ 2009 greatest hits compilation, The Singles Collection, featured the new track, “3.”  The song debuted at Number One on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart.

New Album Releases December 7:

“Strip Me” by Natasha Bedingfield
“Wonders of the Younger” by Plain White T’s
“Endlessly” by Duffy
“Drama Y Luz” by Mana
“Reggie” by Redman
“No Mercy” by T.I.
“The House Rules” by Christian Kane
“Just Charlie” by Charlie Wilson
“The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader”  the original motion picture soundtrack
“Unstoppable” the original motion picture soundtrack

Musical Events/Festivals/Benefits:

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, left, talks with Kennedy Center honorees, Jerry Herman, Merle Haggard, Bill T. Jones and Paul McCartney while waiting for Oprah Whitney to arrive Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, left, talks with Kennedy Center honorees, Jerry Herman, Merle Haggard, Bill T. Jones and Paul McCartney while waiting for Oprah Whitney to arrive

On December 5, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts held its 2010 Kennedy Center Honors gala.  The event featured musical and spoken tributes to former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney, Country legend Merle Haggard, composer Jerry Herman, dancer and choreographer Bill T. Jones and talk show host Oprah Winfrey.  CBS-TV will air the 33rd annual Kennedy Center Honors on December 28.

“VH1 Divas Salute The Troops” premiered on December 5.  Appearing on the music cable channel special are Katy Perry, Sugarland, Keri Hilson, Grace Potter & The Nocturnals, Paramore and Nicki Minaj.  Perry, Sugarland, Hilson, Minaj and Grace Potter & The Nocturnals will perform for thousands of military personnel at the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego, California.  Paramour will entertain troops at an undisclosed military base in the Middle East.

Awards Presentations/Winners:

FOX-TV’s inaugural American Country Awards were presented on December 6 in Las Vegas.  Lady Antebellum and Easton Corbin both received seven nominations.  Carrie Underwood followed close behind with six nods, and Miranda Lambert and Josh Turner were up for five each.  Executive producer Bob Bain says, “Unlike any other country music award show, the American Country Awards will give fans the power to choose all of the winners, which means the awards will reflect what America is listening to and watching right now.”  Trophies were handed out in 17 categories covering recordings, tours and videos.

Rapper Eminem leads the nominees for the 53rd annual Grammy Awards.  His 10 nods include Album of the Year for Recovery, and Record of the Year and Song of the Year for his duet with Rihanna, “Love The Way You Lie.”  Other leading contenders include newcomer Bruno Mars, who earned seven nominations, and Lady Gaga, Jay-Z and Country trio Lady Antebellum with six mentions apiece.  Lady Antebellum is the only Country act nominated in the all-genre Album of the Year, Record of the Year and Song of the Year categories.  Neil Portnow, president and CEO of The Recording Academy released a statement that said, “This year’s nominations are a true reflection of an exceptional and talented community of music makers that embody some of the highest levels of excellence and artistry in their respective fields.  It is most gratifying to see the Grammy Awards process once again produce a broad cross section of diverse and impressive nominees across multiple genres.  Coupled with the third year of our primetime nominations special, the road to Music’s Biggest Night, the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards in February, is off to an exciting start.”  The Grammy Awards will be handed out on February 13, 2011 in Los Angeles.  

Look Who’s Going on Tour!

On December 8, Country star Vince Gill and his wife, singer Amy Grant, will begin their “Twelve Days of Christmas” tour in Sarasota, Florida.  Grant said, “Christmas audiences are special.  They tend to involve the whole family, and their emotions are a wonderful mix of anticipation and reverence.  It’s a thrilling experience for both of us.”  Gill added, “These holiday tours have become our favorites.”  The 11-city, 12-date tour wraps up on December 22 at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium.  

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